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Salihamidzic gives withering response to media pundits in support of Niko Kovac

“Stefan Effenberg is on TV, and I’m at FC Bayern.”

Bayern Munich's sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic is seen during the German first division Bundesliga football match between Hannover 96 vs Bayern Munich in Hanover, central Germany, on April 21, 2018. Photo by Odd Andersen/AFP

Midway through Bayern Munich’s special press conference by the front office, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic spoke out in defense of head coach Niko Kovac and responded to the criticism of media experts who had faulted him for supposedly failing to make an effective public pronouncement (Machtwort) regarding Kovac.

Kovac’s withering response singled out former Bayern Munich player Stefan Effenberg:

Stefan Effenberg. Stefan Effenberg is on TV, and I’m at FC Bayern. My work isn’t rewarded according to headlines or public pronouncements. You don’t lead a team with symbolic actions.

Salihamidzic then turned to the broader question of whether it was at all necessary to make a public demonstration of support for Niko Kovac, as insinuated by the media:

I think I need to make something clear. I have been criticized for not standing behind Niko Kovac publicly. Why? What’s that about? Niko is not up for discussion with me. He knows full well that we stand behind him, and we value his work. We don’t have to give him a little kiss in public. The Bundesliga isn’t some kind of jungle show. That is disrespectful and outrageous what is going on here.

Salihamidzic acknowledged the sudden fall in results after the strong start to the season, but emphasized that that the team’s work “will improve, and we will win again.”

But immediately questioning the work of an entire club — that’s outrageous.

Brazzo declared that he was personally “outraged” by the disrespectful coverage on individual players, concluding,

Our team has not deserved it, we will protect ourselves against it, and I will defend them.

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